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I'm not a neo-con or in the Bush orbit politically, and I was against the Iraq war. However, it shows the depth of sentiment that even political Americans opposed to the war have deep antipathy to the German chancellorship in general.

The American people as a whole have gotten past the incident as opinion polls have roundly shown, but they're not the ones who matter in the long run. The real death in this whole incident has been the educated classes trust in Germany. For the younger set of adult intellectuals in our 30's and 40's, we're going to be set for life in suspicion of the European core countries.

You're right to point out the notions of the German media are unrealistic. We can put it down to an intense wishful thinking. You can bet clearly that no election is ever going to come down to US relations with Europe.

The German press can paint it any way they want, and Gerd and George can pat each other on the backs 'til hell freezes over, but informed Americans know and will not forget that at a critical moment of truth the Germans -- hardly ten years after gaining their long dreamed-of reunification, which was resisted by just about everyone but the hated Amis -- spit in our faces and called us names.

I will never look at Germany the same way again. I will make sure that anyone who asks me hears my opinion about what happened here by using the adjective "beschämend/shameful". I will tell my children and grandchildren about the hatred that ran rampant during this period, the rabid yellow journalism, the ridiculous conspiracy theories. Thanks Germany for paying us back for our fifty-five years of consistent foreign policy towards you with rebellion and open hatred. We stood by you when you needed us, and you tried to undermine us the first time things got messy.

Gerd, I hope you think about this when you are standing on the shores of Normandy this summer, arm in arm with the leader of the country that -- as you did -- opposed reunification. Don't forget that your new friend's country gladly would have confiscated all German territory west of the Rhine and south of Koblenz after WWII. Come to think of it, you two make a great couple; you deserve one another.

It is not the words that count Gerd, it is the music, and you've been playing a dirge for German-American relations from the start. We're listening. I think Kaiser Wilhelm II would be proud of the way you've handled Germany's foreign relations. You've followed admirably in his footsteps. I can hardly wait to see what you come up with next.

Don't go bad mouthing the Kaiser that way; he was never as low as Gerd. I'm sure that the economy will put the CDU back in power. That is neither here nor there. The German people have earned my lifelong loathing. Yes, I'm aware that not every German acted as we saw. Polls consistently showed that it was the great majority though. The brush I paint the Germans with is broad. Seems fair to me. Reciprocity that is well deserved.

I really don't think Europeans understand how their attitude affected the younger generations here, their future tourists.

--And shouldn’t you ask yourself why it is so?--

This ? could be answered another way. Yes, maybe we should ask ourselves that why, after bleeding, dying, protecting and multi-billions if not trillions of hard-earned taxpayer $ spent on you we get stabbed in the back and should we protect you in the future?

Frums Interview (dem kleinen, grauen Ding in seiner Schädelhöhle ist bekanntlich die "Achse des Bösen" entsprungen") ist wirklich interessant:
"In den USA könnte niemand ein politisches Amt gewinnen, in dem er eine Kampagne gegen Europäer führt."

Umfragen, selbst unmittelbar nach Beginn des Irak-Kriegs, zeigen, dass der größte Teil der Deutschen ein positives Bild von den USA hat, und auch nicht jeder, der vernein, ein eher positives Bild von den USA zu haben, ist sofort mit antiamerikanischen, völkischen Vorurteilen behaftet. Was hingegen bei den meisten Deutschen auf Ablehnung stößt, ist die Politik von Bush und der Irak-Krieg. Mit dieser Anklage gegen Deutschland begeht Frum eine Heuchelei, die an den Fakten vorbeigeht, zumal es auch in den USA z.B. die Umbenennung "French Fries"->"Freedom Fries" und andere Antieuropäismen gab.
"Aber als es darum ging, dass wir Amerikaner uns nach wie vor von islamischen Fanatikern bedroht fühlen, war bereits im Dezember 2001 der Ofen aus."

Es wurde vielleicht Einigen immer klarer, dass die Angst vor islamischem Terrorismus, obwohl nicht unberechtigt, dennoch in der Form, wie sie Bush absichtsvoll geschür hat, schlicht irrational ist?

"Und dann tauchten diese unsäglichen Bücher in den Bestsellerlisten in Frankreich und Deutschland auf, diese Verschwörungstheorien um den 11. September."

Ja, es gab sicher diese Verschwörungs-Hype, aber welches ist der weltweit größte Markt für Verschwörungstheorien? Genau, die USA. Davon abgesehen ist das Ganze inzwischen weitgehend abgeflaut. Während ich dies schreibe, befinden sich bei amazon.de die bekanntesten Verschwörungsbücher, Bülows "Die CIA und der 11. September.", Wisnewskis "Operation 9/11" und Meyssans "11. September 2001, Der inszenierte Terrorismus - Auftakt zum Weltenbrand?" auf den Verkaufsrängen 935, 1293 und 6.670. Diese Bücher mögen eine Weile auf den Bestsellerlisten gestanden haben, weil Neugier eine natürliche menschliche Eigenschaft ist. Aber es ist gewagt, wenn Frum seiner Bemerkung hinzusetzt: "Das sagt ganz viel."

"Aber mal gesetzt den Fall, dass wir uns geirrt haben im Irak, dass wir falsch lagen, dass es ein Fehler war - das Verhalten der Franzosen und Deutschen bleibt unhaltbar. Und Gerhard Schröder vorneweg hat da eine Grenze überschritten."

Ja, Schröder ist sicher kein guter Außenpolitiker. Aber ist George W. Bush einer? Wohl kaum. War sein Verhalten akzeptabel? Antwort: Nein.

Frums Interview ist ein interessanter, aber erschreckender Einblick in die ganze Irrationalität, die offensichtlich Bushs Beraterkreis beherrscht. Noch deutlicher wird das, wenn man die ungekürzte Fassung dieses, bei Lichte betrachtet, peinlichen Gesprächs bei stern.de ansieht.

Notiz von David an SRK: Ich muß gestehen, daß ich bei diesem Posting nahe daran war, auf den "Delete"-Knopf zu drücken.
Es finden sich leider immer wieder einmal deutsche Bush-Kritiker, denen die Inhalte dieses Blogs nicht zusagen, und die dann beginnen, praktisch jedes Posting unter die Kritiker-Lupe zu nehmen, um die Dinge "richtig" zu stellen.

Bei SRK geht die Entwicklung seit einiger Zeit in diese Richtung: in kurzer Zeit würde dieser Blog von "Davids Medienkritik" zu "SRKs Kritik an Davids Medienkritik". Damit verlöre dieser Blog sein Wesen. Ich möchte SRK bitten, seine Kritik auf wenige Postings zu beschränken - er/sie würde ja auch nicht erwarten, in einer Zeitschrift zu jedem Thema einen Leserbrief veröffentlichen zu können.

Das Internet ist groß genug für uns beide, SRK - gründen Sie doch einfach einen eigenen Blog für Bush-Gegner. Viel Spaß, ich lasse Sie garantiert alleine.

Wie gesagt: ein bekanntes Muster, und meine Reaktion darauf ist auch schon bekannt.

Ich würde mich nicht an dieser Stelle äußern, wenn SRK eine E-Mail-Adresse angäbe.

I don't really see where the issue of "impact on future generations" even gets off the ground. It seems to me that US youth (under 30) was pretty evenly split: while some found European behavior contemptable, many found it to be highly admirable. It validated the conformist rebellion they've been fed via their government education: "See? Even other countries believe everything the US does is evil."

Two things come to mind immediately. The first is a poll conducted in NYC public high schools about a decade ago. The most frequent answer from the students as to the cause of WWII was, "Because the US dropped the atom bomb on Japan." I suspect that poll was conducted only in the worst of the NYC schools. The second that comes to mind was something I read in Rachel Corrie's diaries shortly after she was killed by an Israeli bulldozer, "Even this nine year old Palestinian understands more about geopolitics than I do." (The Palestinian had just described to her how the Palestinian conflict was entirely the fault of the US.) My apologies, but even the most credulous idiot would realize that any geopolitical explanation from a nine year old has been learned by rote, not derived from a deep understanding of issues. While those anecdotes do not serve as proof, they add color to the proof you can find in any number of current polls about US opinions.

Far more impoartant to my mind than the split between the US and Europe or the split within Europe itself, is the split within the US. The French actually had a point in that regard, although the actions of the Franco-German alignment only exacerbated the problem. An indecisive and vague policy is lethally dangerous. The US itself is not terribly well-equipped to pursue any decisive policy, whether for greater intervention (as is the current policy) or for less intervention (as the French/Germans desired).

But the West as a whole is even less well-equipped than the US acting alone. Thanks largely to Chirac and Schroeder, the situation is far worse now than it was 18 months ago.


P.S.: To be fair to Ms. Corrie, I only read about a half-dozen sentences from the middle of one of her diaries on-line before I hit that sentence and gave up in disgust. It's entirely possible she had a much deeper understanding of things than I do. I sincerely doubt it, however. To be fair to the NYC high schools, it is possible that the reason given for the start of WWII may have been the top answer only in some of the schools. Those schools are not small, however, and each forms a statistically significant population of it's own. After a decade, I no longer recall the specifics, but I DO recall having looked into the claim at the time because I found it was so unbelievable.

Scum, let me shoot you down with one quick phrase ok? My niece is 14 and lives in the rural midwest. Without any prior discussion about the issues, I asked her if she knew what the European attitude was. She said: "Yeah, Germany and France ditched us."

Sweet.

Don't get _my_ sons going on this issue. They are very well informed. Then again, they don't attend inner city NYC schools. Important safety tip: stupid people don't vote.

Sure, there will be anecdotal evidence on both sides: that is the problem with anecdotal evidence: it's not evidence of anything at all. Broader polls show that US youth is pretty evenly split. The big plunge in the overall polls is mostly from the older US residents, who reacted very poorly indeed.

Interesting here from AP. My prior point about the West being split failed to mention that while the Jihadis are not split, the Muslims are. The linked AP item above is about the Iranian govt. blaming Al-Quaida for today's explosions, directed against Shia muslims.

Scum;

I don't see where you get your theory on the American view of the central European obstructionism. I'm one of the very people who you say favored the non-war position, and I'm completely burned on my previous pro-Europeanism from the content of their actions. You don't seem to have the smell test of the younger. You certainly don't have your finger on the pulse of the educated classes.

As for the split in the US, that's a bit more of a fine point than the baser one about decision-class American attitudes toward Europe, which have for the first time in living memory soured. There is a divide in the US, but I doubt it's one you'll get a handle on in a sentence or two. A generation ago students with a Left bent outnumbered their conservative bretheren three students to every one. Now it's half and half. Eventually that will mean the "long walk through the institutions". This will entrench a thoroughly Euro-skeptic intelligentsia.

Splits or no, important parts of America have soured on Europe.

Once again, America will save the world in spite of the world itself. Americans will save America in spite of a liberal-lying left wing called the Democratic party (who incidently, contrary to what Europe "thinks" what they know about the US, is now arguably the minority movement in the States). But please save that for another thread...

Americans will save Europe, in spite of Europe's attitudes and actions and coddling of American enemies just because they don't know what else to do. Europe is afraid of the wrong country and that makes Americans sick. When has America threatened Europe's destruction? Why do you back our enemies?

Only America and perhaps a few other major countries who have the political will in the world; Australia, Britain somewhat, eastern Europe, and yes Israel, will stand up to the spread of Islam into Western culture.

For Islam is the new threat of the world today and it is much more dangerous than communism. Why? Because it cannot be detered. Most Americans have brutally woken up to that fact and realize that Islam ideology is a very threat to the entire world. You can't just "raise the drawbridge". Islamacists subvert from within. It is like a cancer and must be removed.

And Islam cannot be "modernized" like Christianity was. You are living a false dream if you think that.

So what to do about it? Well, roll it back where it has roots. Uproot the very foundations of its birth. Plant a democracy right smack dab in between, Iran, Saudi, Syria, Turkey, Jordan etc. Pu another next to Pakistan for good measure. It is the world's only hope that we succeed in this mission. It may fail, but we surely have to TRY!

And Europe is doing everything it can to make us fail. And that is why Americans despise European attitudes and viscerally hate European politicians. It is not a matter of just "viewpoints". To us Americans who truly understand what endangers the world today, its is a matter of global survival of western culture and democracy as we know it. And your attitudes are costing us lives. Eventually it will be your blood spilled too as much as you think you can avert this, you won't if we are to fail.

You Europeans just don't get it. And half of America is being brainwashed by our liberal Democratic party for the sake of politics.

Bush and his administration keenly understand what it will take to protect the interests of western culture and democracies, and yes that includes protecting European democracies from the cancer that is known as Islam.

So America will save the world even if the world doesn't deserve saving especially old Europe.

Someday you will once again thank us for our brave lead. But alas that thanks is a generation or two away from coming...thats if you haven't stabbed the knife of traitorous deceit so far in our backs that we cannot get up. If our mission of democratizing the Arabs and Islam countries fails...it will be your failure too in the end you you will pay a dear price.

Eric:
Kerry talked already about making "peace" with his "allies" (Iran included). His ideas fit totally good to the German mainstream.

David, I find it problematic that you threaten to cut off someone like SRK but let folks like Eric rant about the Democrats. To me these kinds of posts are indistinguishable in their lack of thought content. If this is nothing more than a Bush cheerleading -- or a trash the Deomcrats -- website then I'm at the wrong forum. If you are going to let attacks such as Eric's slide then you should also let folks like SRK take a few shots at Bush. Otherwise this will end up as just another echo chamber for conservatives. If you don't want debate at all, then just shut down the comments section.

I imagine I'll be drowned out in all the right-wing fury and self-righteous Euro-bashing on this message board, but let me just make two quick points.

1. Schroeder and Fischer put their political necks on the line to support action against the Taliban at a time when a vast majority of the German people (and even greater majorities of Greens and SPD) opposed the war. They backed the US on the war on terror from the beginining. And what did they get for it? The truth is that Bush screwed the Euros over in his decision to wage a unilateral war on Iraq and not the opposite. Chirac and company were right about the weapons of mass destruction and they were serious about the inspection process, wheras Bush obviously wasn't. They were serious about 1441 and Bush obviously wasn't. Is it really reasonable to expect European leaders to defy public opinion and the spirit of the resolutions they adopted merely out of loyalty to the US? Furthermore, why is it ok for magazines like National Review to unearth old French and German slurs--riling up World War hatred against Germany that is now so visible all across the blogosphere--while it is verboten for Spiegel to make fun of Bush?

2. I think Schroeder deserves criticism for making the prospective war on Iraq a big part of the election campaign--it was irresponsible. But those of you who don't read the German media should keep in mind that certain German outlets (I'm thinking of Yahoo, but I'm not sure who broke the story) had reported the Bush desicion to overthrow Saddam BEFORE the UN process or the German election. It is pretty much accepted fact that Bush decided afterwards to go through the UN (obviously under the presumption that this would merely build up support for the eventual overthrow of Saddam--or if they were lucky, lead to a coup).

So at the time of the election Schroeder was merely tapping into a widespread European sentiment against a war then considered relatively inevitable. He ran based on his opinion that war wasn't necessary. What is so awful about that?

scott, I think you don't (want to?) understand one important issue. It has been said many times that not the fact that Germany opposed the liberation of Iraq was really the main issue here, but the way it was done.

Let's try it the simple way. Say you have a (good?) friend at work and at some point you strongly disagree with him on an issue. What are you gonna do ? Are you gonna talk to him privately, express your concerns, declare publicly that you disagree or are you gonna tell(yell to) everyone at work(even to people who don't care) that your (good?) friend is sort of a a*%$hole and a loser, and he doesn't know what he's doing 'cause he's too arrogant, etc, etc.

Well, I guess you know which way Schroeder acted. Do you really expect to call his behaviour 'friendly gesture' ? Would you really trust a friend like this, who in fact acted the way he did not out of strong conviction, but out of personal interest(winning the election). Can you call someone like this a friend ? Can you trust him ? In my opinion the answer is everytime: NO !

You also said that "Chirac and company were right about the weapons of mass destruction". I don't quite understand what you mean here. As far as I know, and you should know too if you are sincerely interested in the truth, Chirac and company(UN, Germany, Belgium, Greenpeace, ATTAC, Clinton, PETA etc) had NO doubts the Saddam has WMD.

The issue was always HOW to get rid of them, not IF the had them !

You also ask why "it is verboten for Spiegel to make fun of Bush?". Of course it isn't. The thing is not that Spiegel made fun of Bush, the problem is that this is pretty much the ONLY way Bush comes across through the "objective" European media and through some politicians. Now, do you really call this a normal, responsible behavoiur ?

A tiny example. In the summer I started checking regularly the headlines on Focus Online. There is one headline you can always count on: Bushs beste Verbal-Patze(about how inarticulate Bush is, which is quite true:-)). The ONLY times you don't see this headline is after a terrorist attack in Iraq, after the capture of Saddam, or when the economic news coming from the US are good(like strong growth). After that the headline comes up again... I couldn't believe it. Day after day after day... I would call this 'infantile behaviour'. I bet the 'journalists' at Focus consider themselves 'professionals' :-)) As I said, just a tiny example... You might think it's irrelevant.

Do I expect perfection form the German media ? Of course not. Only a little bit of objectivity The thing is that they are not what they pretend to be. If you watch Fox News you know what you get. They don't try to hide it. They support Bush. Good for them. If you watch German TV, now we talk. You get the ... 'truth'.

David,
ich finde ihre Einlassung reichlich übertrieben, ich nähme "jedes Posting unter die Kritiker-Lupe". Ebenso beabsichtige ich nicht, diesen Blog zu "SRKs Kritik an Davids Medienkritik" umzugestalten. Sie legen mir nahe, meinen eigenen Blog für Bush-Gegner zu eröffnen. Ich werde das nicht tun, aber angenommen, ich betriebe einen solchen, so wäre ich dankbar für kritische Kommentare. Entweder, diese Gegenargumente sind unberechtigt, dann können sie im Rahmen einer Diskussion widerlegt werden, oder sie sind berechtigt, dann kann man daraus lernen. Ich denke nicht, dass Sie diesen Blog ins Web gestellt haben, um bewusst mit Scheinargumenten und Fehlbehauptungen Ihre eigene Position zu vertreten, sondern wirklich, um den Wahrheitsgehalt in der Berichterstattung deutscher Medien zu untersuchen. Deshalb nahm ich an, dass Sie in Ihrer Kommentare-Sektion wirklich ein "offenes Forum" bieten wollten. Diese Annahme war offenbar falsch. Ich werde, weil ich Ihren Wunsch respektiere, und weil ich ohnehin in den kommenden Wochen keine Zeit für Diskussionen haben werde, bis auf weiteres nicht mehr in diesem Blog posten.

"Sure, there will be anecdotal evidence on both sides: that is the problem with anecdotal evidence: it's not evidence of anything at all. Broader polls show that US youth is pretty evenly split. The big plunge in the overall polls is mostly from the older US residents, who reacted very poorly indeed."

So a couple of unnamed polls, a 10 year old study in NYC and Rachel Corrie's diary are "proof?" You can provide "polls" that claim that "a majority of kids love eating sand" but I'll ignore it if _I can't find a single one_.

I read the comments from scott and SRK and had to pull myself off the floor after falling down in laughter. These comments may be well intentioned, but one cannot overlook the naivety and simple-minded thought process used by both in making their comment. For anyone to be attempting currently to defend the positions of the great fools and cowards Schroeder and/or chirac is a true sign of ignorance at best, and a historical disgrace at a minimum.
I address points scott attempts to make in his post.
scott said "1. Schroeder and Fischer put their political necks on the line to support action against the Taliban at a time when a vast majority of the German people (and even greater majorities of Greens and SPD) opposed the war.
"necks on the line"? my ass!, this fool knows nothing about contemporary thought OR genuine risk-taking. This clown is both a whore and a cowardly fool. How else do you explain an opportunistic ahole like this guy schroeder at one point saying "We want no part in Bush's adventure" as he positioned himself against the country (US)which brought down communism, re-built and re-united, and re-funded germany- the damn country he claims to "lead"? Why would he then say he would "check into the legalities" of being banned from the contracts the US people denied to german firms? How does a "man" take himself seriously with these positions? How does he have the balls to even take this stance? His desperateness is highly evident. He had NO thoughts or desire to help the Iraqi people become free, he had no desire bring down Saddam and then LOSE the business the german firms were making OFF the backs of the Iraqi people. Yet this modern day fool and clown begins to shout anger when the US taxpayer laughed at the prospects of german firms being given contracts. Just like a challenged and ignored ant or a flea. Gerhard- you really are both a pimp and a whore, simultaneously. The entire german population seems to be in a bit of a head spin and really appears to not know "which way is up". Lets remebber that the year is 2004 and not 1930, which is what makes this all the more troubling as it is nearly the same mis-guided nationalistic nonsense (based on pure puffery) that made germany toss the full world into chaos 2 times within just this past century.
Now scott and srk- It is odd to most people here in the US that all of this from Germany comes just 11 short years after the wall fell, AND just 6 short years since the US stepped in to help the handicapped euro crowd deal with kosovo, and just 8 years of the euro bungling of Yugoslavia where Mommy USA had to come in to help again. I offer nothing but a hearty FYOU! to the pawns who lie beneath schroeders' lederhosen. What a disgrace you people are. Does this not indicate a paralyzed thought process amongst the german population? Or is more indicative of a population who has turned so damn miserable with the sterile life's they lead and the pitiful welfare to grave nanny coddling they receive? What is it? It certainly is not indicative of contemporary thought process or of a forward thinking, boldly intellectual populace. I promise each of you that the actions of germany and the scummy and false intellect and actions of schroeder WILL NOT be forgotten. Not even if or when the wonderful Angela M comes into office. YOU HAVE PROVED TO THE US AND OTHERS THAT THE MINDS THAT KILLED YOUR COUNTRY and threw europe into a murderous set of conflicts lasting throughout an entire century, has NOT changed. The paper-like strength of your new found nationalism (based on WHAT contributions?) is what will bring, and is bringing, your nation to it's knees both culturally and economically. Wow, you have a total of 2000 troops in Afghanistan bravely helping to educate the female population or creating an environment for them to achieve, and now you Germans are "all tapped out of resources". So you now have the 4th lowest GDP among the 15 EU nations, your economy hasn't grown in 3 years, your leader gets his ass kicked in recent elections AND you want to sell a nuke plant to China. Now all you germans- WHO will clean up this nuke mess in China when it goes astray and is used dubiously? Yes golkfs- WHO will clean up THIS german mess? I really have to ask "what the hell is wrong with you people?"
In an odd way I desire a conflict of sorts in the near future whereby Russia or old USSR countries begin to boil over and create issues in germany that may neccessiate ANY kind of action- be it political or military. Germany will have no one but france and it's pilot fish belgium to call for assistance as we here in the US have NO desire to do ONE DAMN THING for you fools in the future. You have NEVER (in the last 100 years) shown you have been able to take care of yourselves, on your own. And in modern times as we watch germany fall, it will NOT be the US to pick up this senile germany.
scott says- "They backed the US on the war on terror from the beginning. And what did they get for it? The truth is that Bush screwed the Euros over in his decision to wage a unilateral war on Iraq and not the opposite.
"screwed the Euros over you say? France and germany and the french pilot fish belgium are the ENTIRE of the euro zone? AHA you fool, you charm only yourself and the french/german axis of clowns! currently both these countries have the combined economic, cultural, or military strength of a team of gnats and IN NOW WAY are representative of a "greater EU". THAT dream was created AND killed all in the same year- last year.

Chirac and company were right about the weapons of mass destruction and they were serious about the inspection process, wheras Bush obviously wasn't. They were serious about 1441 and Bush obviously wasn't. Is it really reasonable to expect European leaders to defy public opinion and the spirit of the resolutions they adopted merely out of loyalty to the US? Furthermore, why is it ok for magazines like National Review to unearth old French and German slurs--riling up World War hatred against Germany that is now so visible all across the blogosphere--while it is verboten for Spiegel to make fun of Bush? You are truly full of shit here scott. You have things exactly opposite to historical fact and reality.

Raymond and WhatdoIknow,

Thanks for the respectful responses... I don't have much time, so please forgive my rambling response which is certain to contain numerous spelling erros.

1. WMD--I understand that Iraq violated 12 years of resolutions, etc. etc. But we are/were concerned with 1441. Under 1441, a team of inspectors was sent to Iraq. Whether or not they recieved full cooperation (whatever the hell that's supposed to mean), they were free to search wherever they wanted. The inspection team asked for more inspectors and more time. The US said no, and provided evidence that the Iraqis were duping us that is now recognized as false (Powell's presentation, etc.). In that context, the Euros were right, we were wrong.

On Powell's (duplicitious) testimony
http://middleeastreference.org.uk/powell030205.html
http://www.dailykos.com/story/2004/2/5/1720/02085

But it goes well beyond that. US authorities deliberately exaggerated evidence. Cheney said Iraq was reconstituting nuclear evidence. Rumsfeld claimed he knew where the weapons were. I understand that there were honorable and intelligent reasons to attack Iraq with or without the presence of WMD. But given all this duplicity and the rush to war, is it really reasonable to argue that the US was ever serious about the inspection process? Furthermore, why was war (on WMD grounds) justified when we had the option to send more and more inspectors until Iraq had been definitively searched? How could it be justified under 1441 when the inspection teams created by 1441 were recomending further inspections? And how could war be justified under 1441 when 1441 clearly contained no provision for war?

The point of all this? How could European nations back us after we had shown such disrespect for the truth and for the concerns of its people (expressed in the mass demonstrations)?

Typically, at this point the war hawk objects "but Saddam was a frightful dictator and needed to be overthrown". Look, that is another argument altogether. If humanitarian concern for the Iraqi people was the best argument for war, then that was the argument the admin should have made. But we all know it wasn't made. Whatever their true motives, what the US actually did was try to lie and bully their way to UN support for the war and it didn't work out. Not because Chirac and Schroeder are models of political courage, but because the citizens of the world community wouldn't stand for it.

Also, Raymond, I think you're exaggerating the extent of Saddam's deceit. I'm not going to defend Saddam and I'm glad he's in jail, but let's face the truth--Saddam accepted a humiliating resolution and let the inspectors go wherever they wanted. I don't think it's reasonable to argue that failing to completely comply with humiliating and biased resolutions was enough justification for this particular invasion. Under that logic, any nation would be perfectly justified in unilaterally attacking Isreal right now. I say we'll all be safer when our leaders learn some respect for international law.

Additionally, there is more than 1 way to interpret the diplomatic success in Libya. Start with this article
http://politics.guardian.co.uk/foreignaffairs/comment/0%2C11538%2C1111575%2C00.html

2. As for Spiegel and Bush-I understand the outrage against the German media and agree with the bias--that's why I like the premise of this blog. I'm as disgusted as you'all are with Germany's embrace of left-wing conspiracy theories and Michael Moore. But I believe that Bush, rather than the German media, holds the primary responsibility for the shift. Let's keep in mind that the German public is overwelmingly anti-militaristic and anti-war. The German media reflects this.

I see you guys hate this reflection. I hate the series of events that caused that reflection to turn hateful. And these events emanate from the current administration in Washington. Without Bush, there would be no podium spot for the likes of M. Moore. Without Bush, Spiegel would once again look to German politics for its headlines--to the benefit of German politics.

As for Schroeder--look, I think he was wrong to rule out a military invasion before all the facts were on the table. And to whatever extent he and his supporters mischaracterized his opponent's stance on the issue for political gain, he was also wrong. However, I do believe expressing the opinion that war didn't seem necessary was perfectly legitimate. It wasn't Bush-bashing, it wasn't America-bashing--it was a simple statement of principle and opinion. Everything else is spin and interpretation.

Did his antics contribute to Anti-Americanism? Probably. But gíven the admin we have, I'm not sure it's fair to oppose all anti-americanism. I would prefer a Germany where the politicians respond to the pacific sentiments of the people to a Germany that towed the line merely to be a "friend" and maintain its power within the current hegemony. As an American, I am heartened by the courage of people like Schroeder and Fischer to stand up for the principles of international law (principles partially worked out by Bush I and to a lesser extent Clinton)

Ok--that's enough for now. Like I said, thanks for being respectful enough to hear me out.

I said the young were split on the European issue. The war was a polarizing issue for all demographics. Big surprise, since the Europeans hardly make the US news at all under normal circumstances. Now some people have opinions where before they had none. The shift towards anti-Europeanism was concentrated in the older US residents, leaving the younger residents more polarized, but about evenly split.

The point behind my two anecdotes was (as clearly stated) to "add color". There is a huge group of people out there who live in a completely different
reality. These people are not typically in the "educated business class", a group that is predominantly outside the 30 and under crowd, and isn't all that big to start with. Think of Michael Moore. He has sold an awful lot of books (1M in US sales was mentioned on this site). Who is reading them?

Out of curiosity, did anyone other than myself look at US demographic poll breakdowns during the Iraq War? It was a year ago, and I no longer have the links. You can also argue that a year ago is not today. But does anyone recall the polls for the early primaries (where Dean was still a possibility)? That was hardly a month ago. The "anti-war at any cost" camp is predominantly the young. Would anyone care to dispute that "anti-war at any cost" was the major element of Dean's campaign? He won the under-30 crowd outright in most polls prior to the Iowa meltdown.

Now, you can argue that there are anti-war extremists who are also anti-European. But why would they be anti-European? Because the Europeans dislike Bush? Is someone willing to seriously propose that a significant proportion of the people who are "anti-war at any cost" also have a great liking for Bush? They agree with the Europeans that the war was an evil thing, prepretrated by Bush.

Scott, personally I don’t think that Bush did only the ‘right’ thing and the rest (Chirac, Schroeder etc) did only the ‘wrong’ thing. In my opinion both parties have mixed performances.

Now comes the tough part. As a politician you have to make choices at some point. Sometimes very tough choices. When it comes to this I would say that Europeans and to a great extent Democrats in the US generally have a harder time making tough choices. Not that they can’t do it, but they kind of procrastinate.

We could discuss ENDLESSLY about Bush’s performance, Powell’s, Schroeder’s, UN’s etc. In fact, there are endless discussions going on all over the net on those issues. The thing is that as a responsible politician you have to simply cut the crap at times. I mean, even Clinton had to cut the crap during the Kosovo crisis. Even the liberal Clinton recognized that the time to act had come.

So eventually Bush cut the crap. Many people didn’t like it, but he made a decision based on what he knew to be true. I have to repeat myself because I don’t think you (and not only you) really understand the whole thing:

EVERYBODY firmly believed that Saddam has WMDs ! They didn’t agree on HOW to remove them, not on whether he actually has them (because EVERYBODY knew that at some point he had them).

This is one point Bush’s critics comfortably overlook. He didn’t make up evidence, if anything he emphasized what EVERYONE else sincerely believed to be true.

Will we (not scott and me necessarily) find common ground in this discussion ? Not likely. Not as long as people will throw unfounded accusations. I have absolutely no problem with criticizing Bush, as long as it is based on facts and not passion.

It’s really sad, but the talk coming from many (or most) people who criticize America, Bush & Co. reminds me clearly of the ideology from the (former) communist country in which I grew up. I don’t exaggerate a bit when I say that it makes me physically sick at times. Again, not because criticizing Bush but because of the way it sounds. It awakens real bad memories …

=================================

A short story. A few months ago Madeleine Albright was invited on German TV at a talk show. She talked very shortly about the Kosovo crisis and she said that they (US Administration at the time) were basically fed up with the ENDLESS talks of Europeans on how to solve the crisis, instead of actually solving it. She said it in a nice, polite and casual way, but the message was clear. Of course, the guests (all Europeans) didn’t dwell on it, they were there to talk about Bush and not about their own failures in their own backyard.

All you simple minded birds defending shcroeder seem to be missing a few things- life is miserable for the average german at present. Life is even more miserable for guys like schroeder. One can simply combine the german weather with the german economy and you have a true recipe for disaster. You keep sunlight off the heads of professional welfare consumers and this is the outcome one acheives.
EACH OF YOU needs to understand that this "bush this...bush that, f bush, f the US, f you mr yankey, Bush ruined our year" crap that we hear from the horribly tattered and (crumbling before it began)"EU" is NOTHING but a steel burkha-like blanket of words that cover Germany's OWN shortcomings from head-to-toe, from cradle to grave. I have spent many, many, many months within germany for various reasons over the last 20 years and the bitterness of the mind-sets is both staggering and shocking.
David has put together a site here that is truly in the forefront of knocking down this paralyzed mind-set that chokes the german media and subsequently her citizens. This site in time, will be recognized in media circles all over the globe as the catalyst for positive change (via positive thinking)for germany, mark my words.
Some one please help a duck like me to understand how a "leader" like schroeder can have the audacity to at one point claim "We will not go along with Bush's adventure" and yet 6 short months later the simple-minded fool was crying on fischer's arm and demanding the "legality of it all" be looked into. He still has the same focus with Iraq today- To bring business to german firms to halt the disasterous condition of the german economy and the failing german firms.
How can one do that and then look into the mirror daily to comb one's flowing chestnut trusses and NOT feel like a duplicitous imbecile?
I can crush all the simple-minded pro-schroeder comments above in one stroke-
By stating how insane it was that the first time the US asked Germany for a damn thing in it's history. We simply asked them to stand the hell OUT of our way. If my grandfather wasn't currently so damn stiff he'd suit up in his plane and fly over the deutschlanders and yell-
"Hey Germans- fuck you,... again!"
Any of you clowns looking for WMD in the middle east and you can't find it, you are fools!
As far as WMD etc- Someone please advise this overstuffed penguin-like fool Blix to shut his damn mouth as he promotes his Blix Not Bombs book.
This career civil servant fool needs to turn his attention to the nukes being spread around the middle east and the current pakistani issues whereby it's top scientist ADMITTED to sending nuke technology around the world. In no short way this confirms the validity of the entire "axis of eveil" speech from Bush that set the pants of the senile EU on fire.
It is time for this overstuffed fool to sit his ass down and make a contribution to STOP the spread of these weapons WHICH have been proved to be CURRENTLY spreading their way around the world. Is it possible that this worthless and overpaid fool realizes that there really is nothing in Sweden that would make the virgin-seeking cowards want to blow up? Is that what makes this career civil servant feel so comfortable with his nonsense?
Who can listen to this overstuffed penguin fool talk about himself "being right" about middle east nuclear proliferation at the SAME time that the head of pakistani's nuke program admits spreading his jihad nuke dreams to each of the countries named by the US prior?
US troops in the region have forced Iran to come clean, they have forced Libya to come clean, and now this pakistani hero admits his greed and guilt in accepting cash to spread this nuke disease around the region.
WHY IS THIS AHOLES FOCUS NOT ON CURRENT REALITIES? Why does this AHOLE NOT focus his hot air and attention on the nukes that DO exist? It is the US who is right to take the course it has, it is the EU and the UN that are demonstrating an insanely corrupt, worthless, and incapable set of policies that history will make a disgrace of.

WhatdoIknow,

I think the distinction that needs to made here is the following. Yes, most nations of the world believed, based on their intelligence, that Saddam probably had WMD. But that doesn't mean they accepted Powell's testimony or specific US accusations. Blix said as much when he characterized Powell's evidence as "pretty pathetic". And that doesn't mean they considered Saddam an imminent threat. In fact, nobody was "certain" of anything. Bush practically admitted in a recent MTP interview that he and his administration lied when they claimed they knew where the weapons were or that there was "no doubt"--all of these statements were based on tenative intelligence conclusions. That ism, "There is no doubt Iraq posseses some of the dealiest weapons known to man" really meant "Our intelligence suggests Saddam might have WMD or might have the future capability to produce WMD".

I happen to believe these differences are significant, and that these exaggerations ultimately amount to deliberate duplicity. Especially in light of the fact that we ditched an inspections process that was, IMO, working.

There are many, many, articles out there detailing the Bush admin's pattern of deception and duplicity regarding WMDs. I know this sounds a bit elitist, but I honestly don't know any intellectually honest person who has read the evidence and still believes the admin didn't deliberately exaggerate evidence and mislead the public. I particuarly like this article by John Judis published by the pro-war TNR (subscription only--illegal hat tip=Markadams44, nomads).

http://www.tnr.com/doc.mhtml?i=20030630&s=ackermanjudis063003

Judis really gets at the crux of the problem. Namely, the admin's desperation to have this war by any means necessary has compromised their credibility and made them less capable of building up support and putting together coalitions to deal with real threats. And I think this credibility gap is particuarly applicable to the relationship with Europe, which is one of the many reasons I support Kerry.

I for one am happy the US has democratic allies who have media outlets and political leaders who are willing to challenge the legality, moral justification and strategic justification for potential wars. I would ask all of you conservatives to imagine a scenario where Kerry is president and Stoiber was the German chancellor. If Stoiber felt Kerry was taking the wrong path, would you want him to keep quiet and take his opposition behind the scenes, or would you want him to publically challenge Kerry and provide voice for the opposition?

'pilot fish Belgium'?! LOL! That's the funniest thing I've read in a week!

N. Klaric wrote:
> No, typically at this point the war hawk objects that "on June 7, 1981, 16 Israeli warplanes bombed and destroyed Iraq's Osirak nuclear research facility near Baghdad".

Oh, bravo, sir, bravo!

scott, one thing I can say: Bush didn’t lie but I think he strongly emphasized (you might like to call it exaggerate) what he and EVERYONE else knew to be the truth. If he had done that to invade, let’s say Sweden (or maybe France :-) ) I would have a problem with that. But I don’t mind it at all because he did this to get rid of Saddam. I have absolutely no problem with that.

You (scott) said that “the admin deliberately exaggerated evidence and mislead the public” about WMD’s. A word like “mislead” automatically implies that the administration knew the TRUTH and pretty much lied about it. The use of this verb states that the truth was known beforehand.

This is something I simply can’t agree with. As I said in my previous post, Bush’s critics invariably overlook the FACT that EVERY (responsible) country in the world implied that Saddam has WMD’s.

A discussion in which one of the parties bases one of its main accusations on false facts (in this case, that Bush KNEW that Saddam doesn’t have WMD’s and therefore he MISLEAD) will never be productive. Actually, it shows that this one party is interpreting the facts so that they fit its own views. Sorry, but we’re not getting anywhere …

"Misled" does not necessarily mean Bush knew the truth one way or another. It means he explicitly twisted the evidence for his own purposes.

"There can be no doubt that Saddam Hussein posseses some of the deadliest weapons that have ever existed"

(From memory, so the wording might not be 100% correct)

The question at hand is--did the evidence suggest this conclusion? If it didn't, is it unfair to say the Bush admin misled the public?

And if you think Bush and everyone else "knew" certain things "to be the truth" (never mind that you have just contradicted yourself), then I'm not sure I'm the only one interpreting the facts to fit one's own views.

scott, you and the people who think like you just can't and won't admit that Bush said what he said based on what he (and again, EVERYONE else) knew at the time to be the truth ... Do you really think that if he knew the WMD situation in Iraq he would have said the same things, exposing himself to the criticism he is facing now ????? I can't believe you do that.

You don't have to love the guy to admit that the arguments for the Bush "lie" on WMD's are pretty thin.

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